Island Insider: Around Victoria this week

Gran fondo riders spin through South Island; Derby Villains host Washington guests; Youth climbing event needs volunteeers

Gran fondo riders spin through South Island

Road cyclists will depart for the fourth annual Victoria Gran Fondo on Saturday (June 22), 6:30 a.m. in front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The day ride is a demanding one: a 270-kilometre route throughout the South Island with 3,500 metres of climbing.

The Gran Fondo and Ride, Don’t Hide are the final two events of the 2012 Victoria International Cycling Festival.

Ride, Don’t Hide is a community participation bike ride with three distances, seven, 18 and 29 kilometres, all in support of women’s mental health. It starts at Ogden Point, 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.Pre-check in is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oak Bay Bicycles. Mountain Equimpment Co-op is also holding a bike swap at Ogden Point, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Derby Villains host Washington guests

Roller derby season continues as Victoria’s Margarita Villains host its second home bout of the 2013 season Saturday (June 22) at Archie Browning Sports Centre versus the Northwest Derby Company of Port Orchard, Wash.

The Villains are one of two teams from the hometown Eves Of Destruction Roller Derby League, with Belles of the Brawl being the other.

Tickets are available for all ages at Hive Hair Salon, Logan’s Pub, Archie Browning Sports Centre, and online at evesofdestruction.com.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with a start at 7 p.m.

Youth climbing event needs volunteeers

Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich is in need of sponsors, marketplace vendors and volunteers for the upcoming International World Youth Climbing Championships, Aug. 15 to 19.

More than 500 athletes aged 14 to 19 will visit from 50 countries, with an expected 3,000 people in total of spectators, coaches and families.

To participate as a marketplace vendor, sponsor or volunteer, phone Kimanda Jarzebiak at 250-920-5900 or email at kimanda@ascentgr.com.

Canada shines in Pacific Nations debut

Canada’s senior men’s rugby team dropped its final game of the Pacific Nations Cup to Japan on Tuesday 16-13 and finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.

It’s Canada’s first year in the five-team tournament. The winner of Friday’s game between Tonga and Fiji will decide the PNC champion.

Castaway Wanderers player Ciaran Hearn scored Canada’s only try against Japan, with James Pritchard converting the try and two penalty goals.

Pritchard now has 502 points in 50 caps as Canada’s all-time leading scorer, recently passing the previous leader Gareth Rees (487).

Canada now turns its focus on a pair of Rugby World Cup qualifying tests versus the U.S.A. in August.

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